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Rook Home Inspections LLC - Glossary of domestic engineering
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Home inspection
Date & country: 16/01/2008, UK
Words: 1350


Globe Valve
A valve that lets you adjust the flow of water to any rate between fully on and fully off. Also see Gate Valve.

Gloss (Paint or Enamel)
A paint or enamel that contains a relatively low proportion of pigment and dries to a sheen or luster.

Gloss Enamel
A finishing material made of varnish and sufficient pigments to provide opacity and color, but little or no pigment of low opacity. Such an enamel forms a hard coating with maximum smoothness of surface and a high degree of gloss.

Glued Laminated Beam (Glulam)
A structural beam composed of wood laminations or lams. The lams are pressure bonded with adhesives to attain a typical thickness of 1 ½' . (It looks like 5 or more 2x4s are glued together).

GPF (Gallons Per Flush)
The unit of measurement by which flow rate of toilets are measured and regulated. Current U.S. regulations for toilets require a maximum of 1.6 GPF.

GPM (Gallons Per Minute)
The unit of measurement by which the flow rate of faucets and showerheads is measured and regulated.

Grade Beam
A foundation wall that is poured level with or just below the grade of the earth. An example is the area where the 8' or 16' overhead garage door 'block out' is located, or a lower (walk out basement) foundation wall is poured.

Grade MW
Moderate Weather grade of brick for moderate resistance to freezing used, for example, in planters.

Grade NW
No Weather brick intended for use as a back-up or interior masonry.

Grade SW
Severe Weather grade of brick intended for use where high resistance to freezing is desired.

Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM)
A fixed-rate, fixed-schedule loan. It starts with lower payments than a level payment loan; payments rise annually, with the entire increase being used to reduce the outstanding balance. The increase in payments may enable the borrower to pay off a 30-year loan in 15 to 20 years, or less.

Grain
The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in wood.

Granules
The mineral particles of a graded size which are embedded in the asphalt coating of shingles and roofing.

Gravel
Loose fragments of rock used for surfacing built-up roofs, in sizes varying from 1/8' to 1¾.'

Grid
The completed assembly of main and cross tees in a suspended ceiling system before the ceiling panels are installed. Also the decorative slats (munton) installed between glass panels.

Ground
Refers to electricity's habit of seeking the shortest route to earth. Neutral wires carry it there in all circuits. An additional grounding wire or the sheathing of the metal-clad cable or conduit protects against shock if the neutral leg is interrupted.

Ground Iron
The plumbing drain and waste lines that are installed beneath the basement floor. Cast iron was once used, but black plastic pipe (ABS) is now widely used.

Ground System
The connection of current-carrying neutral wire to the grounding terminal in the main switch which in turn is connected to a water pipe. The neutral wire is called the ground wire.

Grounding Rod
Rod used to ground an electrical panel.

Grounds
Guides used around openings and at the floorline to strike off plaster. They can consist of narrow strips of wood or of wide sub-jambs at interior doorways. They provide a level plaster line for installation of casing and other trim.

Groundwater
Water from an aquifer or subsurface water source.

Grout
A hydrous mortar whose consistency allows it to be placed or pumped into small joints or cavities, as between pieces of ceramic clay, slate, or tile. Also, various mortar mixes used in foundation work to fell voids in soils, usually injected through drilled holes.

Grout or Grouting
A cement mortar mixture made of such consistency (by adding water) that it will flow into joints and cavities of masonry work to fill them solid.

Gun Consistency
Sealant formulated in a degree of viscosity suitable for application through the nozzle of a caulking gun.

Gunite
A construction material composed of cement, sand or crushed slag and water mixed together and forced through a cement gun by pneumatic pressure, used in the construction of swimming pools.

Gusset
A flat wood, plywood, or similar type member used to provide a connection at intersection of wood members. Most commonly used at joints of wood trusses. They are fastened by nails, screws, bolts, or adhesives.

Gutter
Metal or wood trough at the eaves of a roof to carry rain water from the roof to the downspout.

Gutter Strap
Metal bands used to support the gutter.

Guy Wire
A strong steel wire or cable strung from an anchor on the roof to any tall slender projection for the purpose of support.

Gypsum Board
See Drywall.

Gypsum Keene Cement
Material used to obtain a smooth finish coat of plaster, for use over gypsum plastic base coats only and in areas not subject to moisture. It is the hardest plaster.

Gypsum Plaster
Gypsum formulated to be used with the addition of sand and water for base-coat plaster.

Hardware
Metal accessories such as door knobs, towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc.

Hatch
An opening in a deck, floor or roof. The usual purpose is to provide access from inside the building.

Haunch
An extension, knee-like protrusion of the foundation wall that a concrete porch or patio will rest upon for support.

Hawk
A flat wood or metal tool 10 inches to 14 inches square with a handle used by plasterers to carry plaster mortar or mud.

Hazard Insurance
Insurance for a building while it is under construction.

Header
Framing members over windows, doors, or other openings. A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed in framing for chimney, stairway, or other opening. Also, a wood lintel.

Hearth
The inner or outer floor of a fireplace, usually made of brick, tile, or stone.

Heartwood
The wood extending from the pith to the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the life processes of the tree.

Heat Meter
An electrical municipal inspection of the electric meter breaker panel box.

Heat Pump
A device which uses compression and decompression of gas to heat and/or cool a house.

Heat Rough
Work performed by the heating contractor after the stairs and interior walls are built. This includes installing all duct work and flue pipes. Sometimes the furnace and fireplaces are installed at this stage of construction.

Heat Strengthened Glass
Flat or bent glass that has been heat-treated to a specific surface and/or edge compression range to meet the requirements of ASTM C 1048, kind HS. Heat-strengthened glass is approximately two times as strong as annealed glass of the same thickness when exposed to uniform static pressure loads. Heat-strengthened glass is not considered safety glas …

Heat Trim
Work done by the heating contractor to get the home ready for the municipal final heat Inspection. This includes venting the hot water heater, installing all vent grills, registers, air conditioning services, turning on the furnace, installing thermostats, venting ranges and hoods, and all other heat related work.

Heating Load
The amount of heating required to keep a building at a specified temperature during the winter, usually 65° Fahrenheit, regardless of outside temperature.

Heel Bead
Sealant applied at the base of a channel, after setting the light or panel and before the removable stop is installed, one of its purposes being to prevent leakage past the stop.

Heel Cut
A notch cut in the end of a rafter to permit it to fit flat on a wall and on the top, doubled, exterior wall plate.

Hermetic Seal
Vacuum seal between panes of a double-paned window, i.e. insulated glass unit or IGU. Failure of a hermetic seal causes permanent fogging between the panels of the IGU.

High-Early Cement
A portland cement sold as Type III which sets up to its full strength faster than other types.

Highlights
A light spot, area, or streak on a painted surface.

Hinge
A jointed or flexible device that allows the turning or pivoting of a part, such as a door or lid, on a stationary frame.

Hip
The external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof.

Hip Rafter
A rafter that forms the intersection of an external roof angle.

Hip Roof
A roof that rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building.

Hip Shingles
Shingles used to cover the inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Hoistway
A shaftway for the travel of one or more elevators.

Home Run (Electrical)
The electrical cable that carries power from the main circuit breaker panel to the first electrical box, plug, or switch in the circuit.

Honeycomb
Areas in a foundation wall where the aggregate (gravel) is visible. Honeycombs can be usually be remedied by applying a thin layer of grout or other cement product over the affected area. Also, a method by which concrete is poured and not puddled or vibrated, allowing the edges to have voids or holes after the forms are removed.

Horizontal
Parallel to or in the plane of the horizon.

Hose Bib
An outdoor faucet with hose threads on the spout. Also commonly used to supply washing machines and wash basins.

Hot Wire
The wire that carries electrical energy to a receptacle or other device—in contrast to a neutral, which carries electricity away again. Normally the black wire. Also see Ground.

Hub
In plumbing, the enlarged end of a pipe which is made to provide a connection into which the end of the joining pipe will fit.

Humidifier
A device designed to increase the humidity within a room or a house by means of the discharge of water vapor. They may consist of individual room size units or larger units attached to the heating plant to condition the entire house.

Hurricane Clip
Metal straps that are nailed and secure the roof rafters and trusses to the top horizontal wall plate. Sometimes called a Teco Clip.

Hurricane Ties
Metal fasteners used to secure rafters in structures subject to hurricane winds.

HVAC
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

Hydro-Electric Elevator
An elevator where liquid is pumped under pressure directly into the cylinder by a pump driven by an electric motor without an accumulator between the pump and cylinder.

I-Joist
Manufactured structural building component resembling the letter 'I.' Used as floor joists and rafters. I-joists include two key parts: flanges and webs. The flange of the I joist may be made of laminated veneer lumber or dimensional lumber, usually formed into a 1 ½' width. The web or center of the I-joist is commonly made of plywood or oriented …

ID (Inside Diameter)
The diameter measurement taken from the inside of a pipe. A common method for sizing pipe.

IIC
A new system utilized in the Federal Housing Administration recommended criteria for impact sound insulation.

Incandescent Lamp
A lamp employing an electrically charged metal filament that glows at white heat. A typical light bulb.

Incompatibility
Descriptive of two or more materials which are not suitable to be used together.

Indemnification Clause
Provision in a contract in which one party agrees to be financially responsible for specified types of damages, claims, or losses.

Index
The interest rate or adjustment standard that determines the changes in monthly payments for an adjustable rate loan.

Infiltration
The process by which air leaks into a building. To find the infiltration heating load factor (HLF), the formula to account for the extra BTUs needed to heat the infiltrated air is BTU/HR = building volume x air changes x BTU/cu.ft/hr x TD (temperature difference).

Inlet
An opening providing a means of entrance or intake.

INR (Impact Noise Rating)
A single figure rating which provides an estimate of the impact sound insulating performance of a floor-ceiling assembly.

Inside Corner
The point at which two walls form an internal angle, as in the corner of a room.

Inside Drain
In roofing, a drain positioned on a roof at some location other than the perimeter. It drains surface water inside the building through closed pipes to a drainage system.

Insulating Glass
Window or door in which two panes of glass are used with a sealed air space between. Also known as Double Glass.

Insulating Glass Unit
Two or more lights of glass spaced apart and hermetically sealed to form a single-glazed unit with an air space between each light. Commonly called IG units.

Insulation
Generally, any material which slows down or retards the flow or transfer of heat. Building insulation types are classified according to form as loose-fill, flexible, rigid, reflective, and foamed-in-place. All types are rated according to their ability to resist heat flow (R-Value). In electrical contracting, rubber, thermoplastic, or asbestos wir …

Insulation Board
A rigid structural building board made of coarse wood or cane fiber in 1/2 and 25/32 inch thickness. It can be obtained in various size sheets, in various densities, and with several treatments.

Insulation Fasteners
Any of several specialized mechanical fasteners designed to hold insulation down to a steel or a nailable deck.

Interest
The cost paid to a lender for borrowed money.

Interior Finish
Material used to cover the interior framed areas, or materials of walls and ceilings.

Interior Glazed
Glazing infills set from the interior of the building.

Interlayer
In glazing, any material used to bond two lights of glass and/or plastic together to form a laminate.

Interlocking Shingles
Individual shingles that mechanically fasten to each other to provide wind resistance.

Interply
Between two layers of roofing felts that have been laminated together.

IPS (Iron Pipe Size)
Pipe thread sizing system. Also measurement of the outside diameter of a pipe.

Irrigation
Lawn sprinkler system.

Jack Post
A type of structural support made of metal which can be raised or lowered through a series of pins and a screw to meet the height required. Basically used as a replacement for an old supporting member in a building. See Monopost.

Jack Rafter
A rafter that spans the distance from the wall plate to a hip, or from a valley to a ridge.

Jamb
The side and head lining of a doorway, window, or other opening.

Joint
The space between the adjacent surfaces of two members or components joined and held together by nails, glue, cement, mortar, or other means.

Joint Cement
A powder that is usually mixed with water and used for joint treatment in gypsum-wallboard finish. Often called 'spackle.'

Joint Compound
A material applied to threaded connections to help prevent leaks in plumbing. Also, in carpentry, a wet gypsum material applied to sheetrock joints.

Joint Tenancy
A form of ownership in which the tenants own a property equally. If one dies, the other automatically inherits the entire property.